How BirdLife and Business Work Together
Within the framework of its global strategy, BirdLife seeks to work together with business towards sustainable use of natural resources. BirdLife particularly wants to engage where the Partnership's unique structure and skills can make a special contribution.
BirdLife Partners and their Secretariat already work with businesses around the world on a range of programmes. All are based on the opportunity for achieving shared aims and mutual benefit. These programmes build mutual trust and demonstrate positive collaborative action at the local, national and global levels. They bring real benefits for biodiversity, while helping businesses meet their needs in the areas of (for example) regulatory requirements, local and global profile, investor relations, community engagement, and personnel development and management.
Early warning and environmental assessment
Many businesses wish to understand the biological significance of the areas where they are working or exploring. BirdLife Partners have documented the most important sites for birds (Important Bird Areas) in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and parts of Asia and South America. A world-wide assessment will be finished by 2004. This is the most advanced global scientific assessment of priority sites for biodiversity: the IBA network captures a very high proportion of all important wildlife, not just birds. The assessment is based on globally agreed criteria and supported by extensive documentation, so that key sensitivities are explicitly flagged.
Indicators and monitoring
To measure and manage the impact of development on biodiversity, good data and indicators are needed. Birds are excellent indicators of biodiversity and environmental sustainability. Across the world, BirdLife Partners document and monitor birds and habitats, developing datasets on status and trends that build from local to national to global levels. For example, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (BirdLife in the UK) has recently worked with the UK Ministry for Environment and Rural Affairs to construct an indicator based on bird populations. This forms one of the UK Government's 17 Quality of Life indicators designed to measure sustainability.
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